29th Sep2014

‘WWE Battleground 2014′ DVD Review

by Nicky Johnson

BATTLEGROUND_2014_DVD_2D

As one of WWE’s B pay per views, you can’t really set expectations too high. Fortunately, Battleground delivered a mostly okay PPV, with some pretty awesome high points and equally disappointing lost points and bad booking.

We start the main card with the Usos successfully defending their titles in a pretty good 2 out of 3 falls match against Erick Rowan and Luke Harper of the Wyatt Family. First fall went to the Wyatt Family who spent most of it applying chin locks and stomping the legal Uso, playing the isolation game before Harper delivered a big boot to Jimmy for the pin. Second fall was much of the same, Rowan and Harper using their size and strength against their opponents until a beaten Jimmy tags in Jey who gets the roll up on Harper for fall number 2. With the momentum in their favour, Jey and Jimmy start kicking it up a notch, but along the way Rowan delivered an impressive double superplex on the Usos. In the end, the Samoans hit a double kick on the Harper, then Rowan to knock him off the apron, and finally hit a double splash on Harper for the win. Easily one of the best matches of the night, and the double superplex one of the best spots, but the 2 out of 3 falls gimmick felt unnecessary.

Then we get what was meant to Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins. However, in a pre-match interview, Rollins gets attack out of nowhere by Ambrose, causing Triple H to get outraged that a backstage fight would happen and order Ambrose ejected from the building. Later on, this would develop into a really cool heel moment for Rollins as he came out to accept his victory via forfeit and get his hand raised. Ambrose came out again to brawl, leading to the crowd to chant ’let them fight!’, and ultimately this was a really cool angle that set up some pretty good interaction between JBL and Lawler (both of whom we brilliant through the night on commentary). Shame not to see the match, but hey, gotta hype Summerslam right?

The next match we get is AJ Lee defending her Divas Title against the impressive Paige in what is honestly a fairly mediocre match given the two talents. I didn’t really like the ‘frenemies’ angle as Cole put it, with Paige sounding like she’s encouraging AJ throughout the match (unless she was just berating her-they did break kayfabe at least once). After a few unhealthy bumps and Paige countering the black widow, AJ finally puts Paige away with the shining wizard and skips away.

After a quick Orton and Kane ‘let’s be friends’ segment (please stop pushing the ‘Devils Favourite Demon’ nickname onto us), we move on to Rusev vs Jack Swagger. I’ll say this now; I hate this kind of angle. I think it’s a cheap and lazy way to capitalize on current affairs for quick heat. That said, Lana’s mic talents are such I think she could get heat with whatever she said. Not talented enough to pull off calling the President something as tame as a ‘wuss’ though, but I especially loved her shut down on Colter. The match itself was as physical and entertaining as could be expected between these two, Rusev’s looking particularly brutal, and the endless patriot lock looking painful, but the ending where Rusev slams Swagger’s head into a pole then crawls in for a victory by count out felt cheap. At the very least, Swagger didn’t put Rusev out of action.

A quick Goldust/Stardust interlude serving no point other than to further emphasise that poor Cody Rhodes still doesn’t have anything original to go from out of Creative and we’re on to Bray Wyatt against Chris Jericho. Bray Wyatt’s entrance, it has to be said, is the best in the business; if I was to go to a show, it would be to see this live. It’s a shame there wasn’t more to his match with Jericho, who unfortunately won with a codebreaker out of nowhere. Short of a couple of big bumps and Jericho being pushed into a cameraman from the apron, there wasn’t much to this match and you can’t help but feel the wrong man won.

On to the Intercontinental Title Battle Royale after yet more scrapping between Ambrose and Rollins, and it starts with Bad News Barrett informing them that it doesn’t really matter who wins, they’ll just be holding it for him; a brilliant touch to add. The actual match starts with everyone piling on to Khali before being flung back so that Khali could awkwardly chop everyone (remember when that actually looked devastating?). The eliminations started coming pretty quickly, with Xavier Woods and Zack Ryder flying out first, fortunately followed by Khali. A couple of cool spots occurred, like Cesaro throwing Kofi out, only for Kingston to be caught and put on Big E’s shoulders and try again to eliminate Cesaro, but ultimately it came down to Dolph Ziggler, who the crowd wants to win, and Sheamus, who no-one wants to win. In the end though, neither won as Dolph eliminated Sheamus but is himself thrown out by Miz who had spent the match outside the squared circle after rolling out of the ring for being thrown over the second rope. Awesome ending, even if it means Miz took the title.

Finally, our main event. The Fatal Four Way between Randy Orton, Kane, Roman Reigns, and the defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. It started off with Kane and Orton on the same page, taking it to the two babyfaces, but eventually ties are strained when Kane goes for a pin on Cena and Orton slaps the Devils Favourite Demon (seriously, what happened to the Big Red Machine?). Soon after, we get the great spot where Kane goes to superplex Orton as Reigns and Cena suplex him. The crowd really wasn’t into Cena and Reigns facing off, but they were into Reigns countering Cena’s 5 knuckle shuffle with a hell of a superman punch before going on to spear everyone, including putting Orton through the barricade in a powerful spot. Ultimately though, the inevitable happened, and Cena hit the AA on Orton, landing him on Kane, before pinning the big guy for the win.

Overall, 4 out of 6 actual matches worth watching but a fairly mediocre showing from Wyatt/Jericho which was poorly booked, and AJ/Paige which was badly executed. Best matches go to the Usos v Wyatt Family and the main event, and the commentary was actually excellent. Bit of a shame that the Rollins/Ambrose angle was basically reduced to a Summerslam hype train all night, but otherwise something worth a watch.

DVD extras on this release include:

  • Battleground Kickoff Match: Adam Rose vs. Fandango
  • Battleground Kickoff Match: Naomi vs. Cameron
  • Battleground Fallout, The Usos Are Turnt Up!
  • Battleground Fallout, John Cena Reacts to Battleground
  • Home Video Exclusive, The Miz Reflects on the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal

WWE Battleground 2014 is out now on DVD and Blu-ray (with extra bonus features) from FremantleMedia.

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